Playful Showroom by Henrique Steyer

Designed for a premium furniture maker by Henrique Steyer, this creative showroom is situated in Fortaleza, Brazil.

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Description by Henrique Steyer

Near the famous Meireles beach, in Fortaleza, northeastern Brazil, sits one of Florense’s stores. The premium furniture maker’s 8600 sq.ft. (800m²) showroom has just been renewed, with touches of boldness and irreverence that are trademarks of Henrique’s work.

Having been tasked with the store ambience, Henrique made no interventions on the structure, keeping some of the original finishings, such as the marble that covers part of the walls. As for the floor, it was redone in dry-shake cement: a neutral and modern base to receive spaces such as dining rooms, kitchens, home theaters, living rooms and bedrooms. The store owner wished for a showroom with strong personality and memorable spaces, conceived as they where, in fact, the rooms of a residence.

In this new project, the store had its entire area redistributed, having now an entry hall, followed by social areas, divided between dining and living rooms of different styles, as well as master bedrooms and gourmet kitchens. Unexpected – and sometimes humorous – colorful elements are highlighted upon timeless and smooth compositions, filled with wood paneling and hints of cozyness.

Such is the case of the rustic english bricks arranged as table centerpieces in one of the dining rooms. Another example is the collection of several wooden icons of Our Lady of Aparecida that liven up the ZigZag bookshelf, designed by architect himself. An option was made to use sober tones in the overall space, leaving the vibrant colors for the details. This allows dot quick changes in the décor, when the need arises.

Styling contrasts are also in place, causing surprising effects, such as a wall decorated with classic gypsum paneling in the same setting with pieces made by local artisans and the Blind Pietá, an artwork signed by the architect, which is also an artist.

By mixing handcrafted objects, artworks, design pieces and handpicked antiquities like mirrors, alongside Florense’s own furniture collections, the store is imbued with inspiration from a classy, chic Brazil. Such impactful resources are an integral part of Steyer’s creative repository, as a trademark of his work.

Henrique Steyer is Brazilian, graduated in Architecture and Urbanism, and post-graduated in advertising imagery and strategic design from POLI.Design in Milan, Italy. He designed a store in South Africa, was on a magazine cover in China and his projects have been published in over 35 countries. He was a lecturer in Brazil’s largest design events. He has acted as guest teacher in graduate and post-graduate design courses and also writes about design in an important Brazilian newspaper and in a variety magazine. The professional is also the artistic director of one the world’s largest furniture stores, for which he also designs furniture and concept stores all across Brazil. Between an interior design project here and an architecture project there, he wanders around residential and corporate spaces, and doesn’t think twice before taking more conceptual flights – such as the imaginary artist Mark Gary Adams (, a persona created by him and spread across the globe. With an absolutely global creative spirit, but firm roots in Brazil, Steyer also bets in another angle: industrial design. His furniture collection has a strong playful appeal and has been showcased in Milan’s Design Week. His collection left the drawing board with a strong patriotic sense, using the richness of Brazilian fauna to create unusual and playful pieces. Besides releasing the animals, Steyer broadens his horizons – and his target audience – with the Niño bookshelf, shaped like a paper doll chain. His jaguar-shaped bookshelf has become an icon of Brazilian design. A collection of rugs with his signature, produced in Iran, allies the millennial tradition of oriental tapestry with the boldness of Brazilian design. In 2015, Henrique signed a partnership with Moora Design, where he released furniture pieces alongside names as Marcelo Rosembaum and Zanine de Zanine. In 2014, his pieces represented Brazil in the world’s largest design week, in Milan, Italy. In 2015, he repeated this feat showcasing pieces such as chairs, artworks, bookshelves and rugs, in the main event I Saloni and in the side shows. His creations were critically acclaimed all around the world, and if innovation is in the eye of the beholder, Steyer’s work signals the he sees very far ahead.

Photography courtesy of Henrique Steyer

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- by Matt Watts